How would you define power, in a political sense? Like my last few posts, this one is inspired by Professor Larry Klugman. On the first day of his political science course he defined Power with the following formula:
Power = Access + Process
Governor Quinn has named four new members to the BoT, all of whom are U of I alumni.
The new members are:
- Former Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara
- Timothy Koritz, a staff anesthesiologist at Rockford Memorial Hospital
- Pamela Strobel, retired executive vice president and chief administrative office of Exelon
- Carlos Tortolero, the president of the National Museum of Mexican Art.
This post was also inspired by Professor Larry Klugman. He picked up a digital “20 Questions” game at Walmart for a few dollars to play around with it. He figured it would contain many commonly picked items, but thought its range would be somewhat limited. Klugman reports that it successfully guessed what he was thinking of well within twenty questions, until he tried “The Constitution.”
This time he beat the machine by lasting more than 20 questions. On the 24th attempt, the machine finally ventured a guess. It didn’t get “Constitution” but the answer was still intriguing.
The item the machine guessed was “a receipt.” Professor Klugman urged me to share this with the blog, noting he thought the answer was surprisingly intellectual. In many ways the Constitution is a receipt for our democracy.
This blog has become one forum for Ira Carmenites to discuss how much they thought of him. I have had the benefit of taking courses with many extraordinary professors over the years, and in Political Science two stand above the rest. One is Carmen, and the other is a community college professor in Decatur Illinois named Larry Klugman. I’m also lucky that both of these greats correspond with me from time to time. A few days ago Klugman forwarded an email to a group of his friends and asked, “If you heard on the news I was convicted of a crime, what crime would it be.” He was very entertained by the series of answers he received. Maybe Professor Carmen would be too.
So here’s the question:
If you heard on the news tomorrow that Ira Carmen were arrested, what crime would you be most likely to assume he committed?
Have fun with it.
As the U of I community debates whether or not Chancellor Herman and President White should be fired or forced to resign from their positions, some have argued that if would pose a huge continuity problem for the University of Illinois if the two top dogs had to be replaced at the same time.
At the core of the position of Chancellor and President are the following roles: the public face, the fundraiser, the community leader, the provider of values and vision, and the public servant. White and Herman can no longer effectively play these roles. Both have violated the public trust, forever tainted their own integrity, diminished their effectiveness as fundraisers, embarrassed themselves and the university, and enraged lawmakers in Springfield who are now less likely to fund us (with the added excuse of not wanting to pay inflated salaries of these jokers). There is no question that White and Herman cannot provide the people of Illinois with the best possible leadership of the University of Illinois. This is the most important criteria the BoT and Pat Quinn should use when determining whether White and Herman should be retained.
Although anytime any leader of a bureaucracy the size of the University of Illinois is replaced there will necessarily be a transition period, here the resulting administrative hiccup would be much less damaging than retaining Richard Herman and B. Joe White. White and Herman aren’t exactly steering the boat alone. The University has an ever-expanding army of senior administrative personnel who can keep the wheels going round even if we had to name an Interim-President and Interim-Chancellor tomorrow.
At the risk of inflaming the Rainbow Panther brigade, Brian Pierce should simmer down about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, (”DADT”) at least for a little while. Even the most strident gay rights advocate should be able to see that the progressive cause is facing more pressing national priorities right now, like health care reform and the global economic crisis. Taking up DADT right now would be a distraction that would cost the Obama Administration too much political capital.
Today the Trib printed a damaging expose titled “clout goes to college” on the practice of trading on clout to admit unqualified students to the University of Illinois. I encourage anyone who loves the University of Illinois to read the story and take a look at the exhibits.
A Tribune investigation which included FOIA requests uncovered hard, damning evidence that the U of I is admitting unqualified students, while turning away qualified students. The Trib cites a clout list of over 160 students, but even one student getting special treatment is too many.
Leading a state university is a position of public trust. Administrators have a duty to use basic fairness and equality when admitting students. Richard Herman and B. Joe White are accountable to all the people of Illinois–to all taxpayers–not just the ones with clout. Imagine if they were outright selling admission to our competitive law school or business school–trading a seat in the class for an envelope of cash. In truth, trading for political influence isn’t altogether different. Especially when those they are catering to are the same people who set their over-inflated salaries.
While it’s true this practice predates the current administration, it doesn’t excuse our leaders from compromising their principle and tarnishing the integrity of the institution. Whether or not we traded clout for admission in the past, the practice is wrong and must stop. Whether or not other schools do it to, the practice is wrong and must stop.
If Richard Herman and B. Joe White were men of character they would acknowledge that they owe an apology and an explanation to all of the rejected students with credentials superior to the “Category I” admittees.
A few days ago the University of Illinois lost one of its greatest leaders and legends, former Chancellor, Dean and Professor John Cribbet. Generations of Illinois College of Law alumni treasured Professor Cribbet, and Former U of I President Stan Ikenberry said, “John will be remembered as the most beloved Illini of all time.” There are several accounts online of Professor Cribbet’s life and legacy, including are articles prepared by the College of Law, the News Gazette, and the Chicago Tribune. and the College of Law will be having a ceremony to celebrate his contributions on Saturday.
Here with his permission, I would like to share the words of my friend and mentor, Dr. Stan Levy, former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who worked closely with Chancellor Cribbet when he led our University:
Today’s e-mail brought the news of the passing of Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus John Cribbet. He had been ill for quite some time.
John was a prince of a person, a one of a kind Illinois original. Distinguished scholar, teacher, college dean and administrator. community-minded for both the University and Champaign Urbana communities. Before it was reorganized the Senate Committee
on Student Discipline was totally college deans, and the junior dean was ‘honored’ in serving as its chair. John received this assignment during some of the most difficult days at UIUC. When Bill Gerberding elected to leave the Chancellor’s post after only 18 months on the job, John was asked, almost dragooned, into serving first as Acting Chancellor and then as Chancellor at a time when the University was under great stress, athletic issues and significant budget stresses especially. John distinguished himself in many ways. In the dark days of his tenure, and there were many, he was the ‘cheerleader’ who always saw the silver lining. He was always upbeat. His love for the University; his respect for faculty; his gracious way of dealing with his staff; his respect for the young leaders of the community, students, were always present. His stories – and his speeches – were always insightful and memorable. His words were always his own; he wrote his own materials. And then there were his stories: Ponca City, General Patton, etc., a small array woven into amazing contexts. He was a craftsman of the first rank in his use of language.
He was a terrific leader, a superb boss, a confidant, a good friend, and amazing supporter of what we sought to do in Student Affairs. He was a gentleman at every turn and time. His five years as Chancellor helped to change the face of the Campus. It was a distinct personal pleasure, and constant learning experience to work for John.
May he rest in peace.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in Rowe Auditorium at the College of Law.
While on vacation in Florida, I spotted this casket company truck and found its note of caution curiously self-defeating. Maybe it’s a testament to the strength of the Batesville Casket Company: “Go ahead, take your time. We can wait.” Maybe their Florida customer base is so old they figure it wont make much difference. I’d like to think Batesville Casket Company operates one county over, and they want to promote defensive driving until the enter the local market, then they will paint over “Please Drive Safely” with “Time is Running Out!” or “You Haven’t Got All Day!”